Sunday, March 16, 2014


Sometimes I dream about being a writer. I think I have enough material, from the extreme variety of experiences God has led me to and through in life. Emotionally there have been such highs and lows to make me think of myself as a modern-day Anne Blythe - minus the tragical orphan childhood of course :-)

And then other times I think about the reality of how long it takes to write well. Nowadays it's so easy to know what to do, but I am stopped short by the thought of what this guy says.

So for now, I will just try to be more devoted to writing a little, since that's where it all starts. Putting pen to paper sounds more poetical than finger to key, but I don't want to lie, finger to key is how these hands write!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


I remember the days when I used to write.

I was so witty. Charming. A little full of myself (but humble, of course).

I loved the feel of crafting words into images, savoring the taste of a well-turned phrase.

Those were the days I was certain Sarah Matz was born in the wrong century. I could have been a contemporary of George Eliot, or Willa Cather, or Louisa May Alcott..

The problem with those thoughts, though, is that really I don't know that I can stand as much solitude as those women had to manage in order to get a great work of art published. And they had to endure so much more sexism. And they clearly did not have many in their lives who understood them. As for me, the publishing world is so saturated, now, with writers. They say a writer needs to write. Sometimes I don't think I do.

So I let myself get busy with other pursuits: building friendships, studying meaningful pursuits, tasting delightful travel, finding a career I might be happy doing for a long while, and even building a relationship which has turned into a marriage.

But still, I find myself longing to write. Pen to paper, fingers to keys. There is so little time in a day! I want to play, I want to sleep, I want to suck the marrow out of these precious moments.

But I also do not want to lose the memory of these days. How easily we forget that the intro to 'Days of Our Lives' is not just a cliche: "like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives." Grains of sand can't be seen in the pile that it becomes, and instead of days we see weeks, months, seasons.

The other day my husband and I had a perfect moment. It was only a couple weeks ago, but I have already almost forgotten it. There was nothing really remarkable or spectacular about it since it was just another regular daily moment, but there was something exquisite about being where I was, sitting there on the couch savoring this place in time.

So I think that means I need to write after all. Maybe there won't be any money in it. And really, who ever said I need to make money doing this? I couldn't write 8 hours a day, 5 days a week..probably.

We'll see. In the meantime, I will just sneak moments here and there to record some, and to simply enjoy the crafting of a little moment.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dedicated to dad

So, I sometimes post about my dad on his heavenly birthday...

post in 2010

post in 2009

With this day I reflect especially on how he might have affected my present circumstances. Instead of going to China for only 6 months, I may have stayed years. I may still be there, or somewhere else abroad, working with students on English. Ooh, maybe one of those English camps in Eastern Europe!

But instead I felt too far, and so alone without that protection of knowing daddy was a phone call away.  Even though I hadn't depended on that since leaving home for college, suddenly I was at a loss without it. I remember feeling so bereft those first couple years. It was my most common companion, I think, that and the sense of being alone.

I wonder what he would think of my sweetheart and how they would get along. They both have great senses of humor, and a love of barbecue, movies where things blow up on a grand scale (okay, pretty much on any scale,) and camping... I wonder what they would talk about theologically. I wish we could all go camping together and ride roller coasters at Cedar Point.

Another year has passed, and yet it's different this time. This time I have a man to hold me through the sense of loss, to depend on for car troubles, and who tells me everything is going to be alright. I had managed on my own and told myself these things, and it was alright. But I sure am glad that God has brought me another man to depend on after 7 years. He's no Conrad, but then again, his name is Zach  :)

Thanks to dad, I believe men like this are for real.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Well, the sharing hour didn't go as I'd really thought it would, and I can blame that on tiredness, not spending enough time on it, and many things, but really it was what it was, and it was fine. I was reconciled to that before speaking. I shared some poetry written when I was a teenager, and that went over pretty well. Oh, those angsty heartfelt years! I thought I was an old soul at 12; and in some ways I was, but I was also a 12-year-old.

What was surprising to me about that night of sharing (and probably not to those who read the last entry) is my focus on parents. Yes, their story is a part of my story, but my story was very much influenced by the two who raised me. Being an only child, I don't have siblings to blame :)

Anyway, tonight I have been watching some dear friends' children. Just when I thought I had attended to every possible delay mechanism, they of course came up with another. But I'm getting smarter! Kids are so very good at getting their way; these in particular are intelligently crafty. How 2 people can manage to raise children really is beyond me. As babies they require so much guidance, and are so dependent yet defiant. My favorite 2, almost-4, and 6-year-olds are at last sleeping in their beds, and I wish I were sleeping in mine as well!

The big news in life here these days is engagement pictures. At last they have arrived, and at last wedding invitations will be going out with links to view the pics.

One last, rather disconnected thought going back to the 'story'. Considering that there is a wedding imminently approaching, I have been pondering on the reality that my story is about to be drastically influenced in a way no other person besides my parents has touched me. Sometimes it scares me, and sometimes I am in awe of the fact that I am making a choice for the first time to have someone else so drastically involved in my every-day and long-term life.

That takes a lot of trust. It's baffling to me that so many people seem to trust so willy-nilly in marriage. Yet the result half the time doesn't surprise me, since people are jumping in so recklessly (at least it seems that way to me the onlooker at statistics and lives).

Whew. Trust.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Born at a young age..

Tomorrow, I am going to share with my home group about my life- for about an hour!

I see in my story a definite theme of death even while life flames in the foreground. The Life I live in Christ is a gift I am thankful for nearly every moment, and I have been blessed since being a young child to realize and accept this. God has always been with me in my memory. I was never alone. Severe skeptics would say that memory is of an imaginary friend that I never grew out of. That's so demeaning and belittling. I can't imagine saying that to someone, or even actually thinking it of someone without knowing them well. And yet I have acquaintances who throw these combative words and ideas around like they are nothing, and have the nerve to think I'm the one being insensitive before they've even given me a chance to!

Whew. Must be tired. My apologies. Not many read this anyway.

Back to the theme of death that is so prevalent, though. The death, beginning with my great grandmother, who died before I was born. She affected my life strongly in her absence, because of her place in life as my mother's mother. My mom lost her mom when she was 28, even younger than I am now. What pain it must have been. Then when my mother became a mom, her own mother had been buried for 2 years. She had to manage without the grandmotherly presence of her mom.

I never quite realized until now how young my mom was. I was acutely aware of how old I was when my father died. I was 22. The anniversary of the day he died is nearly upon me once again. How much things change in a few years. I live in the Northwestern US, am getting married in the summer, and have called this place home for nearly 2 years now. The friends made here are solidly among the dearest and closest I have ever had, even though I have worked hard to keep a few old friends rooted in my life; these people have known me since teen years if not childhood.

Well it's plenty late. But blog posts aren't supposed to be totally polished right? The point is to be writing, at this point, since I have been doing that so seldom. Just gotta get back in the swing of things!

Hope you're having a great day :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012's out for summer!

A couple weeks ago my first year of grad school wrapped up, and now I have no choice but to face the inevitable decisions that must be made: where to live, and what to do. In some ways, I really enjoy this time because it allows for evaluation and starting something new. In others, it just plain exhausts me. This brain just doesn't quiet down very obediently, but just keeps pondering all these new things.

It's so odd to think that this is my first summer in Portland, since feels more long-term 'home' to me than anyplace since finishing high school. The community is not transient except for the grad students who might or might not be around awhile longer. My friends are a delightful mix of people in many different stages of life: with children and not, single, married, younger, older, student, well-established, and new to the area. And the many opportunities of this city and region still enthrall me.

Right now I am fighting the identity of 'student' that has attached itself to me - understandable, since I after all did become a student again. 'Is it worth it?' is a question I still ask. Making the transition from student-ness to non-student-ness is so difficult for me. It's full of baggage from the last time 5 years ago, when everything outside of me was drastically changed by my father's sudden death. The lack of a fatherly advisor is part of my hesitation, I think; hadn't thought of that before now, but it does make sense. We are never beyond desiring wisdom in decision-making, and some of us, like myself, are quite cautious because of not wanting to make a bad step.

So I come back to where I always go, depending on my holy Father and Spirit to counsel these decisions. Trusting and listening is such work! Those are definitely areas I relish and step toward cautiously, since they are so important.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Surreal: having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream;unreal; fantastic.

Sometimes, I wake up and it takes a moment to gauge whether or not the events of the previous day were part of a dream or they actually happened. And sometimes, the realization that the day before was real hits harder than the actual event, since some shock has worn off. One morning I awoke to a knock on my door at 5am; the next, just to the sunlight peeking through my window.

3 days ago one of my roommate's best friends went to the ER for a very bad migraine. That night she was admitted to ICU, put on life support, and then died just hours later. Turns out she had a cancerous brain tumor.

She had just celebrated her first anniversary with her husband, was 25, and was studying toward a master of arts in counseling.

It was so fast. It reminds me of my father's sudden death, which will be 6 years ago this month. I'm so glad that her family was able to gather around her in those last hours. I didn't have that gift.

Every time people around me are shaken with loss, it builds a stronger resolve in me to live more fully into whatever moment I find myself: living with delight, joy, sorrow, and gratitude with the time we have. I hope to be more sincere with my interactions with people, in particular by letting those close to me know how I value them, and accepting the truths they speak into my life as well. This way, when the difficult times come, we have built up a store of assurances of love. Love is the strongest force I know to carry us through.

And when the truly joyous events also happen, we share in the rejoicing, just as we rejoice that my classmate knows no more pain in the difficulties of this earth. She is praising God in the heavenlies with the saints who have gone before, knowing as she is fully known and knowing God's love more clearly than ever. It may be juxtaposed with the loss we feel in losing a wife, sister, daughter, and friend, but that helps the joy to be all the stronger.